Chiapas: OMCT releases Urgent Action in case of extrajudicial execution and torture in Tila

October 8, 2015

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Mobilization by civil society for case of Tony Gutiérrez. Photo @Comité Digna Ochoa

On 18 September, the Global Organization against Torture (OMCT) released an urgent action for the case of a forcible disappearance, torture, and extrajudicial execution, this of Mr. Tony Reynaldo Gutiérrez López, which took place in the Tila municipality. The communique notes that “According to the received information, on 17 July 2015, Mr. Tony Reynaldo Gutiérrez López was arrested by municipal police from Tila as he was en route via public transit to the center of the Petalcingo community, Tila community, Chiapas state […]. On 24 July his corpse was found with signs of cruel torture in a ranch 2km from the Petalcingo community. On 27 July, relatives of Mr. Tony Reynaldo, together with ejidal authorities, members of civil society from Tila, and representatives of the Digna Ochoa Committee denounced the forcible disappearance, torture, and extrajudicial execution in San Cristóbal de Las Casas. However, the penal evidence […] only suggests that there has been launched an investigation into a ‘simple homicide.’” Furthermore, the communique mentions that after having denounced the case, Mrs. Cruz Pérez and other relatives had received death-threats on the part of members of groups who have links to paramilitary groups such as “Peace and Justice.”

In light of this situation, the OMCT requests that civil society write to the Mexican authorities demanding that they immediately adopt the necessary measures to guarantee the security of the relatives and representatives of Tony Gutiérrez, and carry out an immediate, independent, exhaustive, and impartial investigation into the case.

For more information (in Spanish):

México: Alegaciones de desaparición, tortura y ejecución extrajudicial del Sr. Gutiérrez López_temor por seguridad de familiares (OMCT, 18 de septiembre de 2015)

Urgen a investigar muerte de indígena chol (La Jornada, 21 de septiembre de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Ejidatarios from Tila denounce confrontation between PVEM and PRI, with 4 injured (21 July 2015)

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National: Mobilizations at the national level against high-electricity prices

February 12, 2013

Imagen de la movilización en la Ciudad de México @ La Jornada

On 7 February there were carried out protests and blockades in the capital and in several states of Mexico to protest high-electricity prices.  The mobilization had been organized by the National Network of Civil Resistance against High-Electricity Prices, the National Alliance of Electricity Users (ANUEE), and the Mexican Union of Electricians (SME).  The marches and actions were held in Chiapas, Campeche, Oaxaca, Veracruz, Guerrero, Morelos, Puebla, Tlaxcala, San Luis Potosí, Querétaro, Chihuahua, and Mexico City.  The principal demand of these protests was a change in energy policy that would include just prices, access to electricity as a human right, and the generation of sustainable energy from the people.  Furthermore, there was demanded the cancellation of wind-energy, mining, and hydroelectrical projects, as well as end to the criminalization of social protest.

It should be mentioned that during these protests in Chiapas, Nataniel Hernandez, director of the Digna Ochoa Center for Human Rights, was arrested while he was in a meeting with the regional sub-delegate for the government.  He was released during the evening, without any sort of explanation regarding the grounds for his arrest.

For more information (in Spanish):

La Jornada: Tarifas justas de luz y fin a la presión, exigen miles en marcha (08/02/2013)

La Jornada: O comemos o pagamos, grito en jornada nacional contra altos cobros (08/02/2013)

La Jornada: Padecen usuarios de la CFE indefensión y maltrato al quejarse por altos cobros (08/02/2013)

Proceso: Policías retienen siete horas al director del centro Digna Ochoa en Chiapas (07/02/2013)

Proceso: Protestan en Oaxaca por altas tarifas de luz (07/02/2013)

Koman Ilel: PRIMER REPORTE MOVILIZACIÓN NACIONAL CONTRA ABUSOS DE CFE (07/02/2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Mexico: National day of protests against high electricity prices (4 April 2012)

Chiapas: PUDEE denounces harassment and electricity cut-off by CFE (24 March 2012)

Chiapas: PUDEE denounces harassment by the CFE (25 February 2011)

Campeche: Arrest of activist campaigning against high electricity prices (26 May 2010)

Mexico: AI Declares Activists against High Electricity Tariffs Prisoners of Conscience (10 March 2010)

 

Oaxaca: Detención y liberación posterior de la defensora Bettina Cruz Velázquez (23/02/2012)

Chiapas: Manifestaciones contra las altas tarifas de la luz (13/09/2011)


Chiapas: Judicial Harassment of Human-Rights Defender

June 21, 2010

Manifestación Consejo Autónomo dela Costa (@CDH Digna Ochoa)

On 18 June, the Observation-Institution for the Protection of Human Rights, which is associated with the World Organization Against Torture (OMCT) and the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), requested the intervention of the Mexican government in light of acts of judicial harassment against Nataniel Hernández, director of the Digna Ochoa Human-Rights Center, in the coastal region of Chiapas.

On 11 June, Nataniel Hernández was called before the Public Ministry; he arrived on the 15th, there to be informed that an investigation had been undertaken into his participation in a road-block in the municipality of Pijijiapan in April.  This road-block had been organized by several community organizations engaging in civil resistance against high electricty-prices; they form the Autonomous Regional Council of the Coastal Zone of Chiapas.  During the interrogation that lasted three hours, Hernández admitted having been presented at the road-block, given that “in his capacity as director of the Digna Ochoa Human-Rights Center, […] his presence as an observer had been requested, so that he could document any rights-violation that could occur during the event”.

In a joint communiqué, the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Human-Rights Center and the Digna Ochoa Human-Rights Center find that “the investigations of the Federal Attorney General’s Office in the city of Arriaga, Chiapas, constitute acts of harassment against Mr. Nataniel, linked to his work in defense and promotion of human rights.  We fear that the Federal Public Minister Angel Sandoval Lara turn the case over the corresponding judge and concurrently request an arrest-order against the director of the Digna Ochoa Human-Rights Center.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Joint bulletin Digna Ochoa Human-Rights Center, Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Human-Rights Center (16 June)

Urgent Action from the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH, 17 June)

Digna Ochoa Human-Rights Center Blog


Guerrero: Torres reappears with signs of torture

December 29, 2008

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Digna Ochoa y Placido [Source: Amnesty International]

On December 13 2008, Javier Torres Cruz, from the community of La Morena in the municipality of Petatlán, Guerrero, was able to escape his kidnappers. According to the World Organization Against Torture (OMCT), during the 10 days in which Torres was missing, he was blindfolded and suffered beating and torture. The Urgent Action put out by Amnesty International states that upon his reappearance, he showed signs of “contusions and bruises, especially on his hands and continued to suffer abdominal pains.” According to Torres’ family members, it is most likely that he was being held by members of the Mexican Army.

It is important to mention that Javier Torres Cruz is a member of the Ecologist Organization of the Sierra of Coyuca and Petatlán (Organización Ecologista de la Sierra de Coyuca y Petatlán), a witness in the case of human rights defender Digna Ochoa y Placido, and has previously denounced being accosted by the military, police and armed and hooded civilians on several occasions. On November 13, 2008, 100 soldiers from the 19th Batallion of the Mexican Army entered his community and entered several homes in search of Torres and his brothers. In addition “they threatened, struck and prodded women and children with their weapons.”

More information:

Document – Mexico: Further information on possible disappearance/fear for safety: Javier Torres Cruz (AU, 18/12/08)

Guerrero: Key witness in the Digna Ochoa y Plácido case, Javier Torres Cruz, disappears (SIPAZ, 15/12/08)

More information in Spanish:

Seguimiento al caso Javier Torres Cruz, OMCT (19/12/2008)

Denuncia pública, CCTI, ANAD y Familiares (18/12/2008)

Golpeado y con huellas de tortura aparece el ecologista Javier Torres, La Jornada (16/12/2008)